S Africa businessman Tokyo Sexwale enters FIFA running

South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale officially launched his bid for the presidency of FIFA on Tuesday and his hopeful he can win enough support to succeed Sepp Blatter next February.

Sexwale will be one of eight candidates for the post and having officially been involved in FIFA affairs for the last decade, says he is experienced enough to lead the organisation.

“I was approached by various individuals and organisations to consider running for FIFA presidency,” Sexwale said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“I want to fix the damage done on the brand of football. FIFA’s reputation is damaged, the brand is severely undermined and I need to bring certain reforms.

“I need to oversee accountability and governance. What is broken at FIFA is not the pitch, but the administration of the game. What needs to be corrected at FIFA is the ability to follow the money, good financial management and control, and transparency.”

Sexwale was also quick to back himself and his connection to football.

“People are saying I’m not in or from football; I’ve been involved in football from birth. I’ve been in football for a very long time, growing up in the dusty streets of Soweto,” he said.

“I was secretary general of football and all the other sports at Robben Island prison and our league was recognised by FIFA, the Makana FA.

“I’m on the FIFA media committee and various other facets of the organisation such as the anti-racism committee and next year I’ll be finishing 10 years at FIFA.”

He added: “Racism is the single largest thing that will destroy football. I learnt that in the FIFA media committee where I served for four years.

“The debate that we are going to introduce going to the elections is going to be much more important than the actual outcome. I hope it doesn’t become dirty and it’s a clean game, although football is a contact sport.”

Sexwale is running against Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, UEFA president Michel Platini (who is currently suspended and may not be allowed to run), UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Nakhid, former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne, former FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan and Liberian FA president Musa Bility.